Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmassy Update 1: Space Invaded

Phew, so that’s the penultimate term of my final year over! A few more months and I’ll be cast out into the real world, forced to scrape a living from society’s great, shit-covered boot.

I’ve been hugely busy lately, so there’s a lot to show and tell. Rather than compiling a colossal blog post to rival the splendour of gods, I think I’ll break up my recent work into a few updates.

First up, we have Space Invaders in my uni living room. Basically, I made a giant Space Invader with random cassette tapes and sprinkled a few smaller, Hama-bead ones around it. There’s something strangely ominous about a descending UFO comprised of Michael Jackson singles and Tina Turner’s greatest hits.

A few weeks ago I wrote a couple of introductory gaming features for my student paper, on Fallout and Minecraft. Check them out below - I’m pretty pleased with how they came out.

Anyway, I’ll post another update soon with more stuff from my student paper (probably on Boxing Day or something). Try not to get too excited that you forget all about Christmas tomorrow – I’d hate for my blog update to overshadow a festive event.

Anyways, Merry Christmas to one and all, etc!

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Death of Summer

Oh, hello! Long time no see. This place has gotten pretty desolate of late seeing as I’ve been so negligent with updating it. I had to prune back a wall of ivy just to get into the admin area, and I swear I saw a badger in the ‘about me’ section.

The main reason for the lack of updates is because I’ve been in Brighton for the summer, and I did sweet flip all with regards to artwork. Of course, now that I’m back Shef-side and the weather is returning to its naturally bleak and drizzly state I’m sure I’ll be a lot more productive.

First up, I did a Fuse cover for the final issue of Forge Press before the summer holidays. I was trying to make it a tiny bit more stylised (hence the ridiculous proportions of the policeman and the slight blush on the girl’s joints). All done in Photoshop, of course:

The latest cover I designed – for the first Fuse of this university year - was slightly different, as I pencilled and inked the drawing on two sheets of A4 before scanning them in and colouring the whole thing in Photoshop. I liked how the colourised buildings turned out; I think they look a lot better stylistically than my last attempt at depicting Sheffield structures.

Most recently I’ve started writing and drawing a fortnightly comic to go in the back of Fuse. The first one is a six-panel introductory comic, whilst the second – and all further updates – will be short, three panel jokes.

I really like the look of the characters, design wise. I tried to make them unique both in the shapes of their figure and the colours involved in their appearance, and I think they all balance each other quite well. The most challenging thing is the writing – making a comic funny is harder than you’d think. Whilst the first one is okay, I’m not really pleased with the humour in the second strip as it lacks a satisfying punchline. As with anything, however, there is a learning curve and I’m sure I’ll improve as the comic progresses.

Finally, here’s a poster I made on the request of my girlfriend. It’s based on the ‘Get Excited and Make Things’ poster, which in turn is a variation of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.

I may also make an update in a while based on the recent feature pages I’ve been designing for Fuse and Forge Press, as not only is the role of games editor keeping be busy with Indesign but I was recently duty co-editor of the whole of Fuse. It’s probably not that interesting, but I figure that I don’t really have any readers to lose (seeing as I have no readers in the first place).

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Pandas, Pripyat and Prettiness

First up; prettiness. My custom N64 was featured on Kotaku. That makes me famous and awesome and stuff.
Next, Pandas.

This is a picture I made for my girlfriend's birthday - it now rests, posterfied and glossified, on her wall. The theme, as you can no doubt see, was 'pandas fighting scantily-clad women'. Her idea.

Finally, Pripyat. As the new games editor for Forge Press / its 'Fuse' pullout, I decided to run a little experiment involving S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, in which I explored playing the game with no saving, loading or checkpoints. You can read the first part of the article here, whilst the feature pullout (which is going in the next issue) is below:

With the exception of the map and the Stalker figure, everything was compiled from photographs I took in and around my house. I quite like the depiction of the ruined Arts Tower, myself.

Having the main Fuse feature also meant I could do the cover:

...and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I was trying a new colouring technique whereby I actually tried to use Photoshop properly. Crazy, I know! I don't think it looks as good as it could, but if anything that just shows that I'm still improving.

Anyways, I'm off to sleep. x

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Spring Clean

Hmm, the thick layer of dust building on my last blog post seems to imply an update is in order. So, here’s a couple of things I’ve been working on recently:

The above is a pixel art piece I did for the cover of Fuse, in Forge Press. Anyone from Sheffield should recognise the IC and the Arts Tower – digitalising them such a crude and isometric manner took far too long. The IC, for instance, took literally hours. I have immense newfound respect for any pixel artist, because I now realise the religious-like devotion these people have for their craft (because it is a craft – you are not painting, you are building, square by square). I can only imagine there is some intangible pixel deity to whom they pray, as I cannot see another reason why you would devote so much of your life and sanity to mere artistic achievement.

The article to which the picture is related can be found here; it’s an attempt to catalogue some of the best freeware games you can get from the internet, and I wrote most of the summaries. Unfortunately I didn’t have much room for flair in my writing, because we needed to keep the wordcount to a bare minimum to fit as many games into the feature as possible.

This is a little animation I’m working on for my friends’ club night, JUNK. I really enjoyed making it – animating melting flesh is more fun than it would seem. It’s not finished, and to be honest I’m not really sure what we’re going to do with it anyway (perhaps chuck it on a website?), but I’m quite proud of it.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Oh! You Pretty Thing

Happy 2010 and that. How was my Christmas? Pretty good, thanks for asking. I got a shiny new Intuos4 graphics tablet, though I haven't got anything to show for it as of yet... I'll get around to doing some doodles soon enough, I'm sure.

Right, down to business. I thought I'd share with you lucky, lucky people my latest forray into the sticky world of acrylic paint. The narrative plot goes like this; my girlfriend wanted an N64, so for our anniversary I decided to go one up and make her a custom-painted Cath Kidston inspired N64. The result is what you could call a travesty to mankind everywhere. I'm pretty sure Obi-Wan heard millions of masculine voices cry out in terror before being suddenly silenced or some shit.

The great thing is, it doubles up as a fashion accessory. Carve it out, and use it as a handbag. Put a chain on it, and you've got yourself some neck bling. Not many people can say they can boot up Starfox 64 from their jewellery!